One day after China normalized its relations with Norway, Sao Tome and Principe, an island country in the Gulf of Guinea, decided on Tuesday (local time) to break its so-called "diplomatic ties" with Taiwan, sending a strong signal to the world that the appeal of Chinese diplomacy is rising.
In fact, these developments are two high pitches in China's diplomatic symphony it played in a bumper year.
From the so-called South China Sea arbitration, over which China gained support from over 90 countries and 230 political parties all over the world, to the Hangzhou G20 Summit, which gathered over 30 top leaders from major economies and countries, China acted more and more confidently and its diplomacy reaped a bumper harvest in 2016.
Those big strides, for one thing, are major achievements of the fundamental principles of Beijing's neighborhood diplomacy featuring amity, sincerity, mutual benefit and inclusiveness.
For another, they also marked a better understanding and recognition as well as appreciation of other countries over China's foreign policy featuring independence and equality.
The breaking of "ties" clearly shows that the one-China policy that China has unswervingly adhered to has gained more recognition and support from the international community.
The normalization of ties between China and Norway well proves the appeal of another principle of Chinese diplomacy -- mutual respect for each other's core interests.
As one of the first Western countries to have recognized and established diplomatic ties with China, Norway had been taking the lead in developing relations with China.
However, bilateral ties were strained in 2010 when the Norwegian Nobel Committee awarded the Nobel Peace Prize to Liu Xiaobo, who was convicted of inciting subversion of state power in 2009.
The Norwegian government supported the Nobel Committee's wrong decision, which severely infringed upon China's internal affairs and judicial sovereignty.
Fully recognizing the damage caused by its wrong decision, Norway has worked actively to bring bilateral relations back onto the right track.
Compared with some "international police" who have a profound appetite for hegemony, China is an easy-going, friendly and responsible member of the international community. But it does not allow anybody to cross its red lines, especially the one-China policy and mutual respect for the core interests.